A couple of weeks ago you wrote in questions about your personal fitness issues. A few of them are below with my answers. If you don’t see yours, look out for it soon on a Monday (every Monday the theme on MTM is fitness).
TONING UP YOUR ARMS
I find that i don’t tone but I bulk….especially my arms and abs….also any inner upper thigh tips for bikini season!? — modernhipsy
My most specific goal is obtaining more definition in my arms. Suggestions? – peerintomywindow
Very simply, Repetition = Definition.
Lower the amount of weight you use (if any at all) in your exercises and increase the number of reps.
See answer for inner thighs and abs below.
Inner thigh flab is sooooo stubborn!! Unfortunately most of it is due to genetics and diet. My trainer taught me this exercise you can do at home while watching tv to tone up that area. It’s still a favorite!
How to tone the legs if they’re the most stubborn part of me and i’m running my ass off as it is? – tuchlr
When you do one exercise over and over, your body becomes accustomed to the movement and no longer reacts the same. Running (or spinning or using the elliptical) consistently will get your heart rate up and burn calories, but it won’t tone your legs.
Just as I suggested above, to tone your legs, do lunges, squats, step-ups and presses with light weight. Even in the middle of a run – just stop and start lunging for a while. The objective is to change up your routine to challenge your body. Also incorporate new forms of cardio or take a lifting class at the gym (instructors usually have you do squats repeatedly, more than you would do on your own).
Click here to see the lower body toning exercises I’ve posted. A lot of good ones there I had forgotten about!
Here is an outdoor circuit workout I put together for you to tone up after a run.
RETHINKING YOUR AB WORKOUT
ModernHipsy also had issues with her midsection getting thicker. I have the same problem!
Your abs are a muscle just like any other in your body. When you exercise them, they will get bigger. So instead of crunching yourself to a dense stomach and round figure, strengthen your abs by keeping them engaged during your other exercises. This will greatly help your form and efficiency too. Inhale deeply, then use your core to push the air out of your body. This should pull your navel closer to your spine. Keep your abs pulled in like this and breath normally. Then begin your workout.
I posted this ab exercise a few weeks ago. Not only will it help bring in your waistline, but it will also teach you how to engage your core through breath.
You should also use this core tactic during your normal day when walking and to sit up straight. If you focus on keeping your core engaged, you’ll find the muscles get stronger but not bigger.
Changing up your ab workout is also helpful. Try out this routine:
When I do ab work, I feel like I am straining my neck muscles. Do you have any suggestions for helping to focus on my abs, not my neck? – lizatfolly
Yoga has helped me with this problem. Continuing my practice has taught me to lengthen my body when historically I would compress, forcing the weight on my joints instead of my muscles.
When I do crunches, I put my fingers lightly behind my ears and lift my chin so my neck is straight and parallel to the floor. As I move, I make sure to keep my neck straight. Although I can’t lift as high off the ground, I still get the benefit of the movement without straining.
I live in DC and recently started running to work. Im loving my routine but not my backpack. Any suggestions for a running back pack? – southerninthebeltway
I feel for you lady. I’m not a fan of running with any excess. CamelBak is the most popular brand for active backpacks (This one is on sale.). I would hit up an REI and see which one is the most comfortable and fits your body the best.Tweet this!